top of page


Welcome to the second season ofTeens Grow Greens' video series: made by Teens for Kids!

Since the beginning of June, the Teens have been doing a lot of work in community gardens: weeding, planting, mulching, watering, and, finally, watching things grow!

The Teens usually work with Kids like you one-on-one during the summers, but we want to continue keeping everyone safe.  So this year, the Teens will help you grow with a second season of fun, educational, and engaging videos!    


How will the videos help you grow?  Each week for 8 weeks, we'll feature a new episode focused on a different character trait.  The Teens will Energize you, help you Think, lead you in Play, Teach you, and more--all about the week's character strength.

But what's a character trait?  We're glad you asked!  A trait is something that's a part of you, like your hair color or fingerprint.  It can also be something that's harder to see, like kindness or bravery.  

Our series this year will focus on 8 traits: Curiosity, Creativity, Purpose, Self-Control, Growth Mindset, Activism, Optimism, and--new this year--Gratitude!

Let's get started!


Who ____________________?

What ____________________?

When ____________________?

Where ____________________?

Why ____________________?

How ____________________?

Episode 1: Curiosity
Release Date: 21 June 2021

What is curiosity?  

We know you want to know.  Right?

Well, that is what curiosity is!  It is something we are all born with (hey, that is a "character trait"!).  

When you are born, your eyes are shut.  But when you open them for the first time, you see light and fuzzy things.  You hear sounds.  You feel hands cradling your body.  You do not know that the light is from something called a ceiling or that the fuzzy thing is a nurse or that the hands holding your little baby bottom are your mother's hands.  

But you really want to know what all of this is!

You eventually learn that curiosity will get you things (like when you try crying to get milk) or get you hurt (like when you try standing up for the first time--ouch!)

As you get older and start to talk, you start asking questions.  Who?  What?  When?  Where?  These are important questions that help you learn about your world and your place in it.  

Then you start asking How? and Why?  And that is when the real learning begins.  How does the sun go up and down?  Why do I have to do my chores?  How are babies made?  Why do people hurt each other?

Get ready to learn more about curiosity from curious people just like you--just a little older.

First, we suggest reading the book Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty.  Before you read it, think about these questions:

Do you know what a scientist is?  Do you know what they do?

Can anyone become a scientist?  Are you a scientist?

Then, watch the videos below about Curiosity.  Enjoy the show!

ada twist.jpg

Why is stretching good for you?

Just kidding!  What's in the box?

Is curiosity always good?

What's in the bag?

When have you been curious?

Did you know?


A robotic vehicle named Curiosity has been on Mars since August 6, 2012!  It was launched into space on November 26, 2011, which means it took over 8 months to get to the surface of Mars!  Whoa.


Curiosity is about 10 feet long and weighs about 2,000 pounds (that's a ton!), which makes it the longest and heaviest rover on Mars.  Because it is so heavy, it had to be lowered to the ground by three ropes from the spacecraft's body.  These ropes were called a sky crane

Have you ever been curious if there is life on Mars?  We have!  Curiosity found that Mars could have had life on it a very long time ago.  As of 2020, Curiosity had traveled 13.5 miles in one of Mars craters, still looking for signs of life.  That means it traveled the same distance as Milwaukee's lake front to Brookfield.  That doesn't seem very far, but it's a little robot doing big things!

Click here to find out more!

Now that you know . . .

Now that you have explored a little bit about what curiosity is, we bet you have a much better idea about what it is, right?

Print the activity to the right to help show that you know what curiosity is, plus think about what it is not.  


We often understand what things are by knowing what they are not.  For example, we know birds have wings and cats don't, so when we see a cat, we know it is not a bird.

So . . . are you curious?  Or not curious!

We hope you are CURIOUS!  

Now that you've read Ada Twist, Scientist and done some cool, curious thinking with Myriah, Keavondra, Abrianna, and Asabi, think about Ada's Great Thinking Hall. 

We don't suggest writing questions all over your wall at home or school like Ada did, but we do suggest writing down your curious questions in a notebook.  Can you come up with questions that start with the words to the right?

Episode 2: Creativity
Release Date: 28 June 2021

What is creativity?  

Think about it this way: What do you see in the space below?











You can't say "Nothing."  Something is there.  Waiting.  For you.  For us.

That's what creativity is: making something out of nothing.  

Maybe it's a painting or song.

Maybe it's a story or dance.


Maybe it's a new idea or a new way of doing things.


Whatever it is, when you create, you are in control.  You get to say "I made this!" 


First, we suggest reading the book What Do You Do With an Idea? by Kobi Yamada.  Before you read it, think about these questions:

Have you ever had a good idea?  What about a bad idea?

What makes an idea good or bad?  Or are all ideas good?

Have you ever had an idea that people liked?  What one that they didn't like?  Why did they like or not like your idea?

Then, watch the videos below about Creativity.  Enjoy the show!

Have you tried yoga?

Draw a circle...then what?

What do you create?

Did you know?

Can you create something tasty AND fun?

Now that you know . . .

Now that you have explored a little bit about what creativity is, we bet you have a much better idea about what it is, right?

Print the worksheet to the right and follow along with Kaniya's PRINTABLE videos to show us how creative you can be!

Now that you've read What Do You Do With an Idea? and done some cool, creative things with Angelina, Autumn, Shakiya, Yeraudis, Briunna, and Kaniyah, think about the idea in the book and how it gets bigger and bigger and bigger.

What ideas do YOU have that you'd like to get bigger and bigger and better and better as you get older?

Episode 3: Purpose
Release Date 7 July 2021

What is purpose?  

This is a purpose, right?


No?  Ohhhhh.  That's a PORPOISE!  You're pretty smart!

So what's PURPOSE?  A purpose is a commitment to making a meaningful contribution to the world.  In other words, it means that you decide you want to give something good to the world or do something good for it . . . then do it . . . and mean it!

You know how you can do something "by accident" or do something "on purpose"?  The accident wasn't your fault.  You didn't mean to knock over that glass of milk!  It was an . . . accident!  You didn't see it!

But if you decided to knock over the glass of milk because you were frustrated, then you did it on purpose.  You were in control.  You meant to do it.

So think of something good that you'd like to give to the world or something good that you'd like to do.  That's your PURPOSE!

Purpose gives your life direction.  It moves you forward, not backward.  You want to get older and better and smarter, right?  You have goals and dreams, right?  

Then think about what your purpose is.  

First, we suggest reading the book Because by Mo Willems.  Before you read it, think about these questions:

Do you like it when people ask you "What do you want to be when you grow up?"  Yes or no?  Why?

Has anyone ever asked you "What do you want to be right now?"  Yes?  How did that make you feel?  What did you say?  No?  Would you like someone to ask you that--and help you become that? 

Then, watch the videos below about Purpose.  Enjoy the show!


Why do you do what you do?

Fun facts about music!

Can your purpose change?

Have you ever?

Ready for some more questions?

Now that you know . . .

Now that you have explored a little bit about what purpose is, we bet you have a much better idea about what it is, right?

Print the worksheet to the right, answer the questions, and bring the musical notes to life with lots of color!

Now that you've read Because and really thought a lot about your purpose(s) in life with Amenah, Lesly, Elysium, Iveth, and Jackie, think about how wonderful it is that everyone in your life--your family, your friends, your teachers--has come into your life BECAUSE . . . for a reason.  And you've come into their lives for a reason, too!

Episode 4: Self-Control
Release Date 13 July 2021

What is self-control?

Have you ever eaten a bunch of cookies and realized that you've probably eaten too many . . . so you put the box back in the cupboard?

Have you ever thought about saying something mean . . . but decided to keep your mouth shut?

Or have you ever told someone who was driving the car that they should put their cell phone down?

All three of those things were self-control!

When you have self-control, YOU are. . . you guessed it . . . IN CONTROL.  Not the cookies, not your thoughts, not the cell phone.  You!

First, we suggest reading the book My Magic Breath by Nick Ortner.  Before you read it, think about these questions:

What are some of the things you do when you are happy?  When you're excited, sad, mad, confused?

What does your face do?  What does your voice sound like?  How does your body feel?  And what is your breathing like?  

Then, watch the videos below about Self-Control.  Enjoy the show!

my magic breath.jpg

Can you practice deep breathing?

Can you "move, freeze, move"?

What do you do when you're feeling stressed?

Can you breathe in all the good things?

Did you know?

Now that you know . . .

Now that you have explored a little bit about what self-control is, we bet you have a much better idea about what it is, right?

Print Tylon's crossword puzzle to the right.  You might have to work out some of the answers together or with your teacher.  Some of them are tricky!  Good luck!

Now that you've read My Magic Breath and really thought (and breathed) a lot about how to practice self-control with Osvaldo, Juan R., Mario, Juan V., Angel, and Tylon, try to make a plan to control each of your many emotions next time you have them.  It won't be easy, but if you have a plan--like doing some mindful breathing--you'll probably feel good about it!

Episode 5: Growth Mindset
Release Date 20 July 2021

What is a growth mindset?  

A mindset is a way of thinking about something.  

Think about a glass that is only filled halfway.  Would you say that it is "half full" or "half empty"?  Some people think that if you say "half full" that you are more positive because you see the glass's potential to be "100% full."  But if you say "half empty," you are more negative because you are thinking about what has been lost.  Both of these phrases are mindsets, or ways of thinking about something.

If you have a GROWTH mindset, then, you believe that you and other people can GROW.  You believe you can GROW their abilities and improve.  You believe you can GROW your knowledge and get smarter.  You believe you can GROW even if you make a mistake or fail at something the first time . . . or the second time . . . or a third!  

You embrace challenges, or things that are hard.  You keep up your effort even when things hurt.  You try new ways of doing things if the first ones don't work.

The opposite of a GROWTH mindset is called a FIXED mindset, or a way of thinking about yourself or others that doesn't believe you can improve, get smarter, or fix your mistakes.

Do you have a GROWTH mindset or a FIXED mindset?


First, we suggest reading the book The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds.  Before you read it, think about these questions:

When have you decided to just give up on something?  Why was that?

Now, when have you decided to keep going with something, even though it was difficult or boring or confusing?  Why was that?

Which decision felt better in the long run?

Then, watch the two videos below about Growth Mindset, plus a fun tongue twister from last year.  Enjoy the show!

the dot.jpg

Have you challenged yourself today?

Here's a tongue twister from last year!

Now that you know . . .

Now that you have explored a little bit about growth mindset, we bet you have a much better idea about what it is, right?

Click and print this connect-the-dot to the right and color it in.  We know you're all artists just like Vashti!

Do you have a growth mindset?

connect the dots.jpg

Finally, now that you've read The Dot and really practice your own growth mindset with Raiya, Ajari, and Juan, you should be ready to go into the world and keep growing, improving, succeeding--even when things get in your way or you mess up or want to give up.  At Teens Grow Greens, our motto is "Learn, Grow, Go!"  We know that you can do just that.

Episode 6: Activism
Release Date 29 July 2021

What is activism?  

Activism is an ACTING mindset.  While a growth mindset is about changing yourself, activism is the belief that your ACTIONS can create change in the world--that what you do, what you say, what you hope for your future, and what you hope for other people's future MATTERS and is POWERFUL.

The opposite of activism could be called "slack-tivism."  Has anyone ever told you you were a "slacker"?  If so, that was a mean thing to call you, even if they didn't mean it to be.  When something is slack, it means it is loose, not tight.  So your shoelace might be slack until you tie it.  A rope might be slack until you pull on it.  Your bike helmet might be slack until you adjust the strap.  So a "slacker" is someone who is loosey-goosey about things.  They might see something that needs to get done and just let it slide.  They might see someone who needs help and just ignore it.  

Instead of "slacktivism," then, ACTIVISM is seeing something that needs to get done and doing it.  Seeing someone who needs help and helping them.  It means being tight, at the ready, standing at attention--not being loose, limp, slumped over like a worm.  How many superheroes have you seen that look like worms or slugs or wet noodles??? (No offense, of course, to worms and slugs and wet noodles!  Everything has its place in this world!)

And that's just the point: if everything and everyone has its place in this world, then everything and everyone matters.  And if everything and everyone matters, then that means YOU matter and HE matters and SHE matters and THEY matter.  And if something or someone matters, they are worth helping out.  Would you agree?

First, we suggest reading the true story of Malala's Magic Pencil by Malala Yousafzai.  Before you read it, think about these big questions:

What in your world would you like to change?  Perhaps it's something at home . . . or on your block . . . or in your neighborhood . . . or at school . . . or in Milwaukee, the United States, the world.  Do you feel like you could do anything about it?  Why or why not?

Then, watch the videos below about Activism.  We don't have an Energizer video for you this week, so we suggest this:

Everyone stand up.  Pretend you are a worm with no bones, no spine.  Yell: "I am not a slacktivist!"

Then, stand in your favorite superhero pose.  Hands on hips.  Maybe fist in the air.  Whatever that looks like for you.  Yell: "I am an ACTIVIST!"

Now, go back to being a worm and yell "Slacktivist" and quickly get into superhero pose and yell "To activist!"  Keep doing this.  Maybe start quiet, then get louder.  Maybe get faster and faster.

Whew!  Shake it out--and enjoy the show!  (We don't know why Lizzy is upside down in the Learn video--but it's her message that counts!)


Is the world like a family?

What does your magic pencil look like?

Can you complete the crossword puzzle?

Malala crossword puzzle.jpg

Click and print Ailyn's crossword puzzle.  All the answers can be found in Malala's Magic Pencil!

Finally, now that you've read Malala's Magic Pencil and really discovered ways you can be an activist too with Lizzy, Krystal, and Ailyn, we hope you'll keep thinking, like Malala does, that the world is like a family that we need to take care of!

What is optimism?

Has anyone ever told you to look on the bright side of things?

Maybe you're not feeling so well.  Maybe you're sad or your tummy hurts.  

Maybe your best friend moved away or a family member died. 

Sometimes when these things happen, we don't want to look on the bright side of things!  We're sad or hurting.  The whole world can seem dark.

Optimism, however, doesn't mean IGNORING the bad or sad things in our lives and just PRETENDING that everything is good and happy.  It means that we accept the bad and sad AND ALSO believe that there are good and happy things that still exist in the world.  

We have all been sad or frustrated the past year or two about the coronavirus and how it has changed everything we do.  Last year, we weren't been able to do a lot of what we were used to, like going to school or playing sports or going to the movies.  For many people, this year hasn't been much difference.

But if we have OPTIMISM, of if we are OPTIMISTIC, then we still believe that there are good and happy things in the world--and that eventually we will be able to enjoy those good and happy things like we used to!  

Are you optimistic about life?  What good and happy things do you have right now?  What good and happy things are you looking forward to in the future?

Episode 7: Optimism
Release Date 4 August 2021

First, we suggest reading the true story of Drum Dream Girl by Margarita Engle.  Before you read it, think about these big questions:

If you are a boy, is there anything that you wish you could do that people tell you "isn't for boys"?  If you are a girl, is there anything that you wish you could do that people tell you "isn't for girls"?

If you are young, what do people tell you that "kids can't do"?  What about you teachers: what do people tell you that adults shouldn't do anymore because "that's too childish"?

Then, watch the videos below about Optimism.  We don't have an Energizer video for you this week, so we suggest this:

Everyone stand up.  If in person, boys gather at one side of the room and girls at the other.  If virtual, use the chat room to gather ideas.

Girls start by naming one thing that is supposedly "only for girls."  Boys step forward and announce "Boys can do that too!"

Then boys name one thing that is supposedly "only for boys."  Girls step forward and announce "Girls can do that too!"

Continue for awhile.  Teachers can and should take a few minutes to process the exercise with the Kids.  What did the Kids learn about each other and themselves by doing this exercise?   Do they think it is an important message?  Why or why not?

Whew!  Now that you're energized and optimistic, enjoy the show! 

drum dream girl.jpg

Did the book inspire you?

Can you identify all the instruments?

What optimistic people have you heard of?

Now that you know . . .

Now that you have explored a little bit about optimism, we bet you have a much better idea about what it is, right?

Watch Olivia's video to the right and she'll take you through a coloring activity.  You'll need two of your favorite colors.

Finally, now that you've read Drum Dream Girl and learned a lot about optimism from Elizabeth, Sierra, Amadia, and Olivia, we hope that you will always find ways to be optimistic, even during difficult times.  Are you optimistic that you can be optimistic?

Episode 8: Gratitude
Release Date 11 August 2021

What is gratitude?

Gratitude is the feeling you have when you like something so much that you can't help but say "Thanks!"

Oftentimes, you say "Thanks!" to someone when they give you something like a gift or when they do something for you like hold the door for you.  

But other times, you might be thankful for things you take for granted--like your family or your home or the food you eat.  Sometimes you might be thankful for things you can't even see--like the air that you breathe or a really cool song or that thing we call "love."  Some people believe in a god, others believe in their fellow human beings.  And all these things are worth saying "Thanks!" to.

We at Teens Grow Greens have gratitude for you for watching the past seven episodes of "Kids Grow Character"!  We know that not all the videos were perfect or as fun as we could have made them or as connected to the books as they could have been, but we hope that we have at least helped you think about who you are as a curious, creative, purposeful, controlled, optimistic activist with a growth mindset!

Those are awesome things to have gratitude for, aren't they?

Before you learn even more about gratitude, we suggest reading some of the poems in Thanks a Million by Nikki Grimes.  Then, watch the videos below about Gratitude.   


Once again, though, because we don't have an Energizer video, we invite you to turn to someone next to you and tell them "Thanks!" for something.

If you are participating virtually, try putting a "Thanks!" in the chat room for one of your peers.

Either way, make sure that everyone gets a "Thanks!" for something!

Now, enjoy the show . . .

thanks a million.jpg

What does gratitude have to do with trees?

What's your favorite
Nikki Grimes poem?

Did you know?

Watch the first part of Ahnesty's game video (hint: it's a scavenger hunt), then go find 5 things around you that you are thankful for and bring them back so you can watch the last two videos.  If you're not at home, then walk around your room at school or wherever you are and try to find 5 things.  We know you can!

Can you find gratitude at home?

Finally, now that you've spent a lot of time being grateful with Tatiana, Makayla, Neveah, Breonne, and Ahnesty, we hope you'll have a lifetime of gratitudes for all kinds of wonderful people, places, and things!  And remember, we are grateful for YOU for watching!

Stay tuned next week 
for a

bottom of page